This series of Chicago street images is just a small part of the beginning of my experiences of photography life in Chicago. These photos were taken in the new millennium of 2000 to show how life was like in Chicago for future generations to reflect upon.
I moved to this city from my hometown, Shanghai in 1999. In the year of 2000 when I still worked as an engineer. I used Kodak Tmax black & white film and a Nikon FM2 camera. I shot about 10,000 photos in that year alone.
I was very shocked when I walked through the streets of Chicago and saw the scenes and people. I experienced a cultural collision in my mind. Everything here was very interesting to me. I just couldn’t resist taking photos almost everyday. I took what was interesting to me from the perspective of a stranger to show what Chicago was like and to express life in America.
I don’t have any formulas in my head or so called “rules”. I really enjoy Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau’s work and they really inspired me. I enjoyed the moments when I clicked the shutter and connected to people and the scenes.
Chicago is so big and you can’t document it in its entirety in just a year time. Sixteen years passed I am still doing same street photography in Chicago almost everyday. To me, I still feel I am an outsider here so I look at things differently and maintain a fresh perspective. This is critical to me. Since I switched to digital, my shooting amount has dramatically increased. So far, I almost shot half a million photos at Chicago.